Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Tammany Society Laws, 1789-1795, 1859

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2012

Summary Information
Title: Tammany Society laws
Creator: Tammany Society, or Columbian Order (N.Y.)
Inclusive dates: 1789-1795, 1859
Bulk dates: 1789-1795
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This volume contains 16 laws (50 pages) adopted by the Society of Tammany (later Tammany Hall) of New York City between August 24, 1789, and December 7, 1795. The laws concern the organization's governance, including officers' roles, initiation rites, and other administrative matters.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2759.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Tammany Society laws, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


History

The Society of Tammany, a political organization, was formed in New York City in 1789. Its name derived from that of Tammanend, a Delaware Indian chief, and it was also known as the "Society of Tammany, or Columbian Order" and as "Tammany Hall." The group became associated with the Democratic Party shortly after its establishment, and gained influence in city and state politics throughout the 1800s. Tammany Hall's popularity resulted in part from its appeal to immigrants from Ireland and other countries. Though its political power declined in the mid-20th century, Tammany Hall was an influential force in New York politics throughout most of the 1800s and early 1900s.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume contains 16 laws (50 pages) adopted by the Society of Tammany (later Tammany Hall) of New York City between August 24, 1789, and December 7, 1795. The laws concern the organization's governance, including officers' roles, initiation rites, and other administrative matters. An unidentified owner used the first 2 pages to record financial accounts and related notes in 1859. The volume has the bookplate of Justin G. Turner.

Each of the book's 16 chapters consists of a law regulating a specific aspect of the society's governance, subdivided into multiple sections. Four chapters outline the duties of officers or branches, including the secretary, treasurer, judiciary branch, and committee of amusement. The laws establish each position's responsibilities, guidelines for the transition between incumbents, and termination of membership. The society's rituals, such as initiation rites, and the use of passwords and membership badges are also described. The Society of Tammany utilized Native American terminology to identify the highest members of the organization (who were referred to as "sachems" and "sagamores").

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Initiation rites.
    • New York (N.Y.)
    • Passwords.
    • Political clubs.
    • Tammany Hall--By-laws.
    Genre Terms:
    • Bylaws (administrative records)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Tammany Society laws,  August 24, 1789-December 7, 1795 [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library holds many collections and items related to the Society of Tammany and Tammany Hall.

    Bibliography

    "Tammany Hall." Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012.